While most of those crazy staff people were teaching mission teams to build relationships, purify water, and train teachers to teach in-country trainers in the use of the clean water....I and my two buddies got to play gopher/guide/supporter/transporter/organizer/seek-and-finder/photographer/mom/dad (otherwise known as 'administrator') to the staff and 44 adult "campers".
I'm skipping the 300+ photos I took of the students 'doing their thing'....and showing just a tiny bit of the beauty of the camp....the may apples were in bloom, the turkey hawks were circling something, the dogwoods were almost past their peak-- but had a few branches with enough flowers to make the worship services in the 1866 chapel (with the original pews!) quite beautiful. The labyrinth is spare...the setting serene...and the black swallowtail butterfly flitted with us part of the way down the path back to camp.
By the end of the week, the tech team made us clean water, and we all celebrated. We're all trained and ready to spread that clean water to all God's children.
Our home team--a Presbyterian church, a Baptist church, and the director of Project Aids Orphan---has partnered with David Okong'o and his House of Hope medical clinic and orphanage in Katito and Kandaria to bring two systems to Kenya the end of July.
David was with us this past week for training. With his help-- and now expertise--we are convinced that not only will clean water flow in those villages in July, but that they will be sustainable for many many years to come.
Some weekends are good...some are great....and then once in a while along comes one that is just about perfect in every way.
We ventured to Oxford MS this weekend--to Camp Hopewell--for the LWW staff/volunteer retreat and celebration weekend. About 4 hours in the car---two of which were knitting ones-- and we ended up at Knit1Oxford before even checking in to the camp! (More about that another day.....but, let me assure you, it was FUN!!!) PapaGeek is usually chomping at the bit to get to the camp....so this was a surprise---and real treat!!!
The rest of the time, we spent:
:: catching up with old friends
:: making a few new ones
:: being a part of some strategic planning for the organization
:: celebrating the 'soon-to-be' retirement of the current director and founder of the organization
:: welcoming some of the new leadership
:: eating eating eating
:: enjoying the perfect weather outside during those few little breaks scattered throughout the weekend
As a volunteer.....I was among those served the most amazing dinner of duck stuffed with wild rice, oranged carrots, potatoes Lyonnaise, yummy salad, and a dark chocolate tart with cinnamon ice cream and raspberry sauce (I ALMOST licked my plate, but there were too many people watching)------by the staff. (PapaGeek was staff....of course, I sat at his table...hee, hee!)
Fancy white linen tablecloths, candles, flowers on the table....
I've never seen such a transformation of a church camp dining hall. It was lovely. And so relaxing. (My usual time at the camp is during training sessions....early starts, late nights, continuously running and putting out the proverbial fires, and missing at least a few meals along the way.)
and......We got back home in time for a "trip to Hawaii".....via dinner club.
I didn't cook one single meal----ALL WEEKEND LONG!!!!
I got to play photographer all week....documenting the 37th class of Clean Water U (the training component of Living Waters for the World.) I sure did have fun. 1200+photos worth of fun!! (don't worry, they aren't all downloaded here....)
In a nutshell----this was our week.
We pumped some of this yucky water....
from this beautiful lake.....
and ran it through this simple purification system we built (this was a father-daughter team who are planning a trip to Honduras)
and it came out clean! and yummy.
We made new friends from all over the world.
We made a joyful noise....at least twice a day!
We built teams and developed leadership skills.....
There were skits.....(look closely...and I think you'll see Moses parting the sea!)
And we even had a guest appearance from Ernestine!!!
We were surrounded by beauty all week long.
THE 37TH CWU CLASS!!!!
and a FINE class it was!!!
Made extra special for me....because part of our hometown Kenya 2013 team was there for training!!!!
We're ready!!!! (the question is....is Kenya ready for US???!!!!!)
We squeezed in a few things between stints manning the LWW booth.....
Carnegie Museum of Art --- Impressionism in a New Light....from Monet to Stieglitz was a beautifully curated exhibit combining paintings, photography, sketches, and etchings. Imagine one gallery---with nothing but a Monet water lily painting spanning the entire wall. You simply had to gasp when you walked in that room. Turn around, and there was a Stieglitz photograph of Monet working in his studio (blown up room size). Wow. No, WOW!!!! At the entrance was a Renoir garden painting that I still can't decide if it was my favorite because it was the first thing I saw, or if it really was my favorite--favorite. I was loving several Childe Hassams, too, but then, he's always a favorite. I guess I really just loved it all. Couldn't take photos in there....sorry....so we decided to visit some old friends before heading back to the convention center....
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has one of the best dinosaur collections in the country. They are in a new "habitat" from when I used to visit them as a kid. Don't you wonder what kind of yarn could have been spun from a wooly mammoth???
We got sprung from the booth about 4....had just enough time to hike to Heinz field for a concert. Jake Owens opened...
then Grace Potter was on...(yes, that's me knitting)....and THEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND KENNY!!!!!!!!!!!! (Brothers of the Sun Tour 2012)
and a beautiful walk "home" afterwards.
We actually did spend some time in our booth this weekend....meet Ashley---she was spying on us from the booth behind us. (She's a friend. It's OK.)
Amazing...all the stuff eventually fit in the booth.
PVC pipe and swimming pool filters....simple yet effective.
We make a difference....
in 23 countries around the world....
This week we're in Pittsburgh (where PapaGeek and I grew up!!) for the Presbyterian General Assembly, representing Living Waters for the World. 5,000+ folks are expected to attend to set policy and visit the exhibition hall; we're hoping each and every one comes by our booth!
Let's celebrate clean water for ALL God's children!